The ACC has joined the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing WiselyTM campaign along with eight other leading medical specialty societies and Consumer Reports to help physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders think and talk about overuse or misuse of health care resources in the U.S.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, decade after decade the U.S. spends more money per capita on health care than any other developed country with little progress in quality or value to show for it. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that up to 30 percent of care delivered in the U.S. goes toward unnecessary tests, procedures, medical appointments, hospital stays and other services that may not improve health. Coupled with the fact that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates U.S. health care spending will reach $4.3 trillion by 2019, it is clear that our current health care system is unsustainable and in need of an intervention.
As part of our longstanding effort to play an active role in addressing the quality of care, the College is joining the campaign to encourage open communication about the risks, costs and benefits of tests and treatments so that our patients can be informed partners when making important decisions about their care. We believe that partnerships between patients and health care providers are crucial to achieving better outcomes and lowering health care costs. From our CardioSmartTM National Care Initiative, aimed at helping patients better understand and/or prevent heart disease, to our state-of-art educational programing and decision-support tools that place evidence-based guidelines at a clinician’s fingertips, we have been and will continue to be committed to ensuring the most appropriate, cost-effective care.
Over the course of the multi-year campaign, we will be working with the ABIM Foundation to identify and reduce waste in the health care system. With the medications, devices and imaging technology available to cardiologists today, we can save and improve the lives of patients who would not have had a chance just 15 years ago, but we also have a responsibility to use these powerful tools effectively and make sure we are choosing wisely.
To learn more about the Choosing Wisely campaign visit, www.ChoosingWisely.org.